We’re all familiar with the idea of ‘rose-colored glasses’. In our teenage days we all were likely infatuated with someone who really wasn’t all that great, but we had convinced ourselves that they were the epitome of spouse material as we viewed all they did with rose-colored glasses. Shortcomings and faults were disregarded, glaring character flaws were seen in an entirely different light.
In a similar way, we can see all of our life through grey-colored glasses. This terminology certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue like its lingual ancestor, but I think it describes the effects of depression and hopelessness on a person. When in the throes of discouragement and depression, we can see all of life as dark and dim. We can view everything: our surroundings, our job, our circumstances, our family, our friends, our relationships, through the grey-colored glasses that depression and hopelessness put upon our eyes.
I want to offer some advice, and some hope, for those of us who fight this in different seasons and to different degrees. The advice is not my own, and come to think of it neither is the hope. Yet I do want to relay both to you today.
Here’s some advice for the discouraged among us:
1) Focus On The Facts, Not Your Feelings
I’m the champion of this. I’m prone to listen to what my feelings and emotions are telling me about any aspect of my life. To fight back against the seeds of depression and discouragement, proclaim the facts of any aspect of your life that you are seeing with grey-colored glasses. Let this be founded in truth from Scripture. Memorize the promises and heart of God in the Word of God, and use these Scriptures to fight back against what your emotions are telling you. Don’t allow the lies that our hearts believe take up root in your soul.
2) Get Some Sun
Depression and discouragement can make us want to lay in bed all day long, scrolling through social media or binge-watching some television. It takes discipline and commitment, it takes going on the offensive, but I strongly encourage you to fight this tendency. Go for a walk, go to the gym, play a little basketball. Get outside and soak in the sun. There’s something life-bringing about simply communing with God via nature. Also, being active tremendously helps the broken soul. When I work-out with a friend, I am relieved of a lot of the inner turmoil.
3) Tell Someone
I just alluded to it, but have brothers and sisters in Christ encouraging you and walking you through the darkness. We were not designed to be isolated. Satan would love nothing else than to have droves of Christians walking in the darkness of depression, bound to it because they aren’t bringing it into the light. We have made depression and discouragement taboo struggles for the follower of Christ. If you are goofy and extroverted like me, it may be extra difficult for you to admit that sometimes you’re not okay. There is freedom to be found in admitting your need for support. Have friends walking you through, able to call out your feelings and proclaim the truths of Scripture.
I hope these words of advice are as helpful for you as they were for me. I want to spend the latter half of this post giving you some hope. This is hope found in the Word of God. This is hope built upon the promises of God.
Recently I’ve been drawn to Ephesians. There’s something about the first fourteen verses that keeps drawing me back, deeper and deeper. Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel, the good news that breaks through the grey-colored glasses and shines the beautiful light of Christ into every aspect of our lives. In the onset of this letter from prison, Paul shares a twelve verse sentence (1:3-14) of praise to God. There is so much in this eulogy that can’t be covered in just one blog post, but I do want to make known to you 3 simple truths that are abounding in hope.
YOU ARE CHOSEN BY GOD
If you are a follower of Christ, having surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus, then let me remind you that YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD.
For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. – Ephesians 1:4
You have been chosen by God. There’s something awesome, something joy-inducing, something that fills our hearts with happiness whenever we are chosen for something. Whether that be a sports team, a school, a relationship, or even the Mr. Bison Pageant. This should do exponentially more to remove the darkness when we meditate on the fact that the Lord of all has chosen us to be His!
You are chosen.
YOU ARE SAVED BY CHRIST
You have been chosen by God, and this plays itself out via the redemption and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace – Ephesians 1:7
We have been redeemed. You and I have been forgiven of all of our trespasses, every single one, through the riches of God’s grace poured out onto us through Jesus.
Grace > __________
You could list any sin you’ve committed and the equation would still be correct. You have been fully forgiven and completely redeemed.
YOU HAVE BEEN FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
God gave us a helper, a companion, someone to walk through this life with. That is the Holy Spirit of God.
In him you also – when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you also believed – were sealed in him with the promised Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 1:13
We have been filled with the Holy Spirit.
Honestly I see this as one of the biggest ways to combat the darkness of depression. Remember, meditate upon, and utilize the fact that we have the very Spirit of God residing in us to help us live for him in any season.l Rely on the Spirit and seek the Spirit’s guidance.
Brother or sister in Christ, if you struggle with depression, bring it into the light. Get outside. Tell your community of faith. Last, but certainly not least, claim and proclaim the promises of Scripture. Be filled with hope!
There will be days where you and I see all of life through grey-colored glasses.
When those days come, remember the wonder of the gospel.
You have been chosen, saved, and filled.
In His Name,
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